The Little Duchess' Home Tutor (Novel) - V2 C28
Volume 2 Segment 5
Chapter 28 – Beast
Little by little, I crawled on the cold stone floor. My body was in tatters. My back, especially, after the lightning spell hit it.
I had never been in this much pain before.
“Maybe… not since the fight… with the… Black Dragon…”
I talked to myself. Had Lidya seen me like this, she would have tied me to the bed for a week and ignored everything I said. Then, she would say ‘…Allen you idiot.’
She can be pretty overprotective, after all. Actually, Tina too, and the other girls as well. A snicker escaped my lips. …I hope they’re not being reckless right now.
—I continued to crawl down the darkness.
There was something with extraordinary mana in the depth of the darkness. However, I didn’t feel any malice from it. If it wanted to kill me, I would have died already.
Not to mention… I feel like… I know something that is similar to the signature of this mana.
Eventually, I reached a dead end. H-, huh?
As I reached out to the darkness, for some reason, it turned to be a wall. Is there nothing here?
I couldn’t see where I came from. Just how big is this place?
Somehow, I managed to lift myself up, leaning on the wall, but I fell over again. The pain was so intense I couldn’t help but yelp.
The people who brought me here… I could hear them coming up the stairs from above. What, you’re leaving me in a place like this? How horrible.
Whatever the case, I need to get this collar and pair of bangles off.
Let’s see—I sensed the presence of something watching me. However, I couldn’t see it. Obviously, there were no windows or light fixtures down in this dungeon.
I heard a metallic sound rattling, and it was getting closer.
…Well, that’s a problem. I staggered to my feet, shouting.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t taste good. If you take off my collar and bangles, I will pay you back handsomely.”
A very thin, purple electric streak ran through the darkness.
The collar and the bracelets came off, falling with a thud.
With a relief, I rallied myself from falling, and calmly invoked first aid healing magic on the wound on my back with only a tiny amount of mana. The pain thankfully subsided. With this, I wouldn’t kick the bucket right away.
I exhaled, then continued to walk in the darkness. Lighting up the place… is probably a bad idea?
I asked the thing in front of me.
“May I turn on the lights?”
A streak of lightning. Okay, it seemed.
I put a small orb of light in my hand, and walked forward.
…This dungeon seemed to be much larger than I had imagined. The walls were old, but seeing how unusually sturdy they were, I would guess that either dwarves or giants built this place.
Purple light streaks went off. It seemed like the creature was leading me ahead.
My whole body throbbed and ached. It’s times like these that makes me wish I had a bigger mana pool… Well, what else can I do? How lame can I be?
—Suddenly the light went out.
Not because I ran out of mana.
This was due to a technique I often used—Mana interference!
For the first time in a long time, I had my magic extinguished, and the next moment, my body was pressed against the floor. I quickly tried to break my fall, but the pain doubled.
I yelped. I couldn’t move my body.
Something was peering at me. I could feel a very strong, very intense sense of caution.
…aah, this is bad. My… consciousness is…
With difficulty, I tried to move my fingers, finding chains at their tips.
Uwaah. What the… hell.
I don’t know who in the world would build something like this, but this is a contraption that gets tighter the more its capture moves around… such a nasty thing. This is not something to be used on a living being.
Using all the remaining mana I had, I forced one chain link to break off. The magic formula sparkled, glowing in the darkness. This thing is ancient.
With a roar, the chain fell. Floor cracked under it.
I willed myself to smile, then said.
“For the time being… I’ve paid off your favor, okay?”
My eyes closed.
Oh, this is bad. I can’t move even a finger. My consciousness is fading away.
Aah… I don’t want to die…
The next thing I felt was warmth.
…I felt like being hugged by a blanket. Blanket?
My mind was waking up, so was intense pain.
As I raised my upper body, the warmth I felt on my stomach left me. The sound of chains rattling as it did.
I could feel a gaze staring fixedly at me from right in front of me. Judging from the amount of mana I had recovered, it seemed like I had been unconscious for several hours. Cautiously, I raised a question.
“…Can I turn on a light?”
A lightning streak. Okay, it seemed.
—Now, let’s see what is there ahead.
I put on an orb of light in the palm of my hand.
An out of place exclamation escaped me.
A soft sound, and with a tug on the chain, she ran to me and hugged me.
I reflexively accepted her, perhaps out of habit. My head, however, was in turmoil.
…why is a young Karen here?
“Wait. You’re not Karen…you’re not my little sister. The shape and color of your ears are different. What are you…”
Without uttering a word, the young, beast-eared girl came to show me both of her chained—no, bitten and bloodied wrists. Her eyes filled with tears, spilling out as she shook her head left and right.
At that instant, anger boiled in my head, and without a moment’s pause, I intervened with the magic formula of those chains.
I severed those nasty things both on her wrists and her left ankle, solemnly invoked healing magic on them after.
…my healing magic might leave scars.
My thoughts were grim, but the young girl looked at me like I just did something incredible, and began to shed tears, hugging me tightly as she did
“My name is Allen. What’s yours?”
She didn’t answer, only continuing to cry.
…That magician who shoved me down here, I think he said I’m a ‘sacrifice’ of some sort?
Which means they must have had some people shoved down here before me. And yet, those past sacrifices did nothing.
However, there has to be a reason why they purposefully tossed me—I could feel a fixated stare.
“? Ah, does it still hurt?”
It seemed like she was trying her hardest to say something, but her voice didn’t seem to be coming out. For the time being, I stroked her head a few times. Ah, it feels different from Karen’s head.
Despite seemingly feeling ticklish, the girl moved her head around following the motion of my hand. —Well, this is pretty fun too.
I bent my knees and looked her in the eyes; pure and golden they were.
“I need to get out of here. However, the door is sturdy, and there are guards outside. Do you know any other way out?”
She pulled my arm with both hands. I felt warm blood on them. It seemed like she did know.
…I have to fix her wounds as soon as possible.
“Ah, wait a minute.”
I patted the young girl’s head, who compliantly stopped, and tore off her bloodied robe to make some pieces of cloth.
I looked her in the eyes, then smiled.
“Let me see your wrists and ankles.”
She promptly showed me her wrists, so I lightly bound them with the clothes as I invoked First Aid healing magic on them. The same applied to her ankles.
“Bear with me a little bit. Once we are out, I will take a proper look at them, okay?”
When I told her that, she jumped up and down on the spot, as if she didn’t listen to my words. By the way, her tail was also golden in color. Is she? A fox?
No, but, why is such a young girl here?
Come to think of it, I could no longer detect the overwhelming mana that I felt before.
The little girl hugged my right arm. I started walking.
…Well, we saved each other.
At the very least, she isn’t evil. I’ll believe in her.
—With the little girl taking me by the hand, we resumed our steps deeper into the darkness of this dungeon.